I needed that…

Back to Cape Town and back home after a couple of days at the cottage and I have realised that I needed a break there to remind me that this is a good country to live in.

Don’t get me wrong. SA is my home. My house is here, my wife and kids were born here and I have settled in like a duck settling into water (big splash, few ruffled feathers, some soggy bread). And I love it here. But coming back from our recent visit to the UK, I was again reminded about the thing I don’t enjoy in SA: the lack of personal freedom. (and the fast internet – Ed.)

Even living (as we do) in a leafy, decent suburb, people are uneasy about going out at night. While we were in the UK, wandering up the road to the pub each evening was great. Here, the roads are poorly lit, the standard of driving is poor, especially in the evenings and the chances of being mugged are unnecessarily high. We all live and exist behind great big, high walls and I miss the freedom that living in the UK gives you.

But that’s in the city. Down in Agulhas, things are so much more open. No walls, no electric fences. (I hope I’m not giving the burglars helpful information here.) I needed to be reminded that this can happen here. And we made the most of it. Beach, braai, beer. Brilliant.

It reset my system and I am at peace again.

6 thoughts on “I needed that…

  1. The lack of freedom here is depressing, although I know no better. But having to set the beams in the garden from 8pm, plus electric fences, and having to lock Trellidors does feel like we’re living in a prison. And then you pay ADT and find out that one of the ADT guys is giving info to the criminals. Now they’re currently trying to set up, and catch an ADT patroller. Far from ideal.

  2. weird. i dont live in that south africa. but then again, i dont live in a leafy suburb… so no big fences and walls. not even an alarm system. i guess you choose your own prison.

  3. Sean > Who protects the protected from the protectors? *sigh*

    anib > Which SA do you live in? Happy to walk home alone from the local bar at 11pm? For realz?

  4. I’ve walked around Long Street late at night.. but generally dont frequent bars. I actually feel safer in the city than the suburbs. As a woman, I do have other restrictions in movement though. I guess we just work our way around it.

  5. anib > Well, with all the people about on Long Street, you’re (arguably) safer than in the poorly lit suburbs.
    Those suburbs that you feel less safe in are exactly the ones I’m describing.

  6. I know what you mean, and agree with it to some extent. However, don’t fool yourself that the UK is any safer. I feel safer here at home, walking on the streets at night, than I did living in London. That might have been because 3 people were killed in 3 separate events at each of the 3 commons between which we lived, and because my car was broken into more times than I can remember there (and never once here at home). Personal experience of crime plays a big role in one’s perception of safety. But as I said, I know what you mean. There’s just something about being in a first world country that makes a whole lot of stuff feel better.

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